Stop navigating from one website to another, and read ALL the information you need before you leave home.
Have a look at my hot air balloon experience pictures. The sensation of flying over the beautiful Seville countryside with no other noise that your own voice and, eventually, the burners from time to time, is mesmerizing. It is something you should do at least once in your life – I can’t wait to do it again!
The company I flew with has more than 10 years of experience and the whole team has been related to hot air ballooning since they finished college. Riding on a balloon is extremely safe and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. The balloon launches and lands softly and you won’t even notice you are going up or down unless you look below your feet.
It’s an activity everyone can do. You can either offer it to your partner – it’s incredibly romantic, or fly together with your family because the kids will rave about it.
While you are planning your trip to Seville, book your hot air balloon experience from home. It’s easy and it will save you you time once you are here since everything would be ready for you.
A hot air balloon is surprisingly big. Ours is approximately 35 m tall (115 ft) which is the equivalent to a 12-floor building. And it takes 7,000 cubic meters (almost 250,000 cubic feet) to fill it completely.
The inflating process takes a while. First, the balloon envelope needs to be unfolded in the ground. Then, the burners must be mounted over the basket. Finally, the basket is inclined towards the balloon envelope, both are tied together with several stainless steel suspension cables, and the burners warm the air slowly inflating the balloon.
As the hot air goes inside the balloon envelope gets bigger and larger. I asked Vicente and he let me go inside to see how the nylon fabric unfolds and takes the balloon’s shape.
It’s a wonderful sensation that you should try too. I felt inside a gigantic spaceship! All these colors around me and the hot air behind invading this huge empty space. Not to mention the sound of the burners, spitting out flames like an imaginary dragon.
The launch takes place right at the beginning of the sunrise. The light is incredibly beautiful, there are bearly any clouds and the sun rises warming us. The sky fades in from a dark black into a bright and colorful blue.
As the balloon ascends, the panorama gets better. We are surrounded by the immensity of the landscape, kilometers of emptiness with a few houses here and there. All of us, including Vicente, our pilot, stare hypnotized at this amazing spectacle.
The yellow fields reflect a warm light as the balloon flies smoothly over them. Little by little, spectacular landscapes are forming in front of my eyes. Dozens of beautiful colors under my feet transform the basket into an exclusive lookout.
Probably what impresses me most is the absence of noise. There is no engine, only the sound of our voices and the burners that Vicente turns on from time to time to keep the hot air temperature. I can’t think of anything more relaxing.
The burners play a very important role before and during the flight. They are not only used to inflate the balloon but also to increase the air temperature inside the envelop. Thus, the balloon becomes lighter than the surrounding air and it floats.
The basket has an internal partition separating Vicente’s area from ours. Inside his area are stainless steel fuel tanks containing liquid propane. The liquid propane is gasified by the burners and mixed with air. The resulting flame goes to the mouth of the envelop and heats the air inside.
A hot air balloon can fly to extremely high altitudes. The world altitude record for highest flight is currently set at 21,027 m (68,986 ft) performed in November 2005 in India by a local pilot.
Nevertheless, during our flight we never surpassed 750 m (2,460 ft) above the ground. Despite is sounds like a relatively low height, I can assure you that you can feel the difference between several hundred meters (or feet). As you go up, constructions, vehicles and fields look like wonderful miniatures…
The average maximum height in this kind of flight is 1,000 m (3,280 ft) but the company organizes flights where the balloon can go up to 3,700 m (around 12,000 ft).
After a surprisingly soft landing, it’s time to flatten out the balloon. Vicente strongly pulls out part of the stainless steel suspension cables to open part of the envelope and let the hot air out. Then, he needs to separate the envelope from the basket.
Finally, part of the group is asked to jump at the envelope expelling the air. As the air goes out Alfonso and Antonio fold the envelope, we jump over the envelope, and the process is repeated over and over until all the air is out.
As we return back to the meeting point on a 4×4 I realize that I haven’t eaten anything since 6:45 and I’m starving. My excitement has been so intense before and during the balloon ride that I just forgot about breakfast. And you will too!
After this short trip, we are welcomed with an abundant buffet breakfast where you can find anything that you can imagine. Trust me, if you half as hungry as I was you will eat some delicious food and local delicacies. I just love some toasted bread with olive oil and jamon on top of it – it’s the best breakfast on earth!
Once we have our stomachs full, Vicente gathers us outside a lovely patio with the promise of a “final surprise”. Oh and what a surprise it was…
He tells us the tale of the Montgolfier bothers and their invention of the hot air balloon. He also speaks about the first free manned flight recorded in history, carried out by Pilâtre de Rozier and the marquis d’Arlandes in November 1783 – more than 230 years ago!
And once he is finished, he baptizes us one by one with some drops of champagne to celebrate our first flight on a hot air balloon. From now on I’am the princess of Doñana!
On the final picture I just wanted to show you my happy and relaxed face. A hot air balloon flight is a relaxing and safe experience. At first I was a little bit concerned about vertigo but I have to admit that I never felt it.
Everything, from the launch to the landing was extremely pleasant and I just can’t wait to live the adventure again. Are you ready to live yours too?
Disclosure: The owners kindly invited me to join a group on a flight over Seville’s countryside so the following paragraphs are a full review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.